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They have no taste for agriculture, much less for commerce or mining or manufactures; but love to live alone in the midst of a huge farm, where they can see no smoke but that of their own hearth, hunting the wild creatures, and driving their cattle hither and thither where the pasture is best, ruling their black herdsmen in their own grim way. No people has shown less taste for politics, and it is probably from this distaste for association and town life, which has spread from the Dutch to their English neighbors, that Cape Colony is, of all the greater British colonies, that one in which there has been the least active political life, a fact the more remarkable because there is no new country which has crowded more history into its short career than South Africa has done. The Boers are strong, active fellows, good marksmen at short range, full of courage and capable of enduring great fatigue, unpolished as well as ignorant, but kindly and given to hospitality. The women lead sedentary lives, and are, by common consent, seldom attractive, and still more seldom intellectually cultivated; but they too showed wonderful spirit and constancy in the dangers and hardships of the terrible Zulu wars.
These characteristics belong to the Boers generally all over South Africa, in the British colonies of the Cape and Natal as well as in the republics of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. But they vary in intensity according to the degree in which the Boer has been affected by English institutions, and by the ideas and habits of the English settlers. In Cape Colony there have been ninety years of British rule, with a steady, though not large, influx of English and Scotch colonists. Of the 380,000 whites, rather more than half are of Dutch origin, or habitually speak Dutch, though of course it is as hard to say who is practically to be treated as a Dutchman as it would be to say who is to be deemed a German in Iowa or a Swede in Minnesota; for language and origin do not necessarily govern a man's habits and sympathies. That the process of Anglicization should have proceeded so slowly in these ninety years may be ascribed, not only to the singular conservatism of the Boers, but also to the thinness of population, the Boers living in small villages, or scattered over a vast area, with few occasions for contact with the British part of the population. To-day the country districts, especially near Cape Town and in the Western Province generally, are almost wholly Dutch, while the townsfolk, even if they bear Dutch names, are practiVOL. LII.-57.
cally English. There is no social separation between the two races, who intermarry freely, and have much the same interests, except so far as the interests of the townsman diverge from those of the farmer. Nor was there any sharp political distinction till, in 1880, the Boers of the Transvaal revolted against the British government that had been established there three years previously. The sturdy resistance which the Boers then made to the British troops evoked so warm and general a sympathy from the colonial Dutch that some fears were entertained of a civil war within the Colony itself. An outbreak of race hostility there would have been a grave misfortune, and the desire to avert such an outbreak was the strongest among the motives that induced the British government to restore to the Transvaal (in 1881) its independence. Since 1881 the Dutch have formed in the colony a political party, which at present commands a majority in the Assembly. They are not, however, an antiEnglish party. They are an agricultural party, to some extent an anti-native party, in some slight degree a protectionist party; but they have never shown any disaffection to the British crown, and their desire to secure the minimum of interference by the home government is shared by the English members of the legislature. That the danger of race enmity, and of hostility to the connection with the mother-country, has been so far avoided is mainly due to the efforts of two statesmen. One of these persons is Mr. Hofmeyr, himself of Dutch stock, a shrewd, cool, and somewhat taciturn man, who was one of the chief founders of the so-called «Afrikander » party-the party which is, first of all, African, and therefore primarily, though not exclusively, Dutch in sentiment. The other statesman is Mr. Cecil Rhodes, an Englishman born, the son of a country clergyman, and himself a graduate of Oxford University. No man in South Africa has been more steadily attached to the British connection, or has done half so much to secure for Britain those vast territories to the west and to the north of the Transvaal, which were coveted by both the Transvaal Republic and by the German Empire. But in his political career in Cape Colony, of which he was prime minister from July, 1890, till January, 1896, Mr. Rhodes succeeded in obtaining the support of the Dutch party, and labored assiduously to bring about a unity of sentiment and aim between the Dutch and the British elements in the population. The energy and firmness of his character, and the grasp of
political and economic questions which he has evinced, make him the most striking figure among the colonial statesmen of Britain in this generation. He has been deemed by some a less adroit parliamentarian than was the late Sir John Macdonald in Canada, but he is possessed of a wider outlook and far more conspicuous executive capacity. The ascendancy which these gifts secured for him enabled him, while extending British influence up to and beyond the Zambesi, at the same time to retain, down till the recent Transvaal troubles, which have gravely affected the situation, the confidence of that Dutch, or Afrikander, population which had least national sympathy with what is called an «imperial British policy.»>
So much for Cape Colony. Now let us turn to the two Dutch republics. In the smaller of these, the Orange Free State, the Boer element largely preponderates over the British. English is spoken in the towns, and by many farmers; but South African Dutch is the official language, and the speech of three fourths of the whites. They are, on the whole, less Anglicized than the colonial Boers, but they have little or no anti-English sentiment; for the British government has never, since the renunciation of its sovereignty in 1854, interfered with their independence, and the citizens of English stock are just as much attached to that independence as are the purest-blooded Boers. The commercial ties that unite them to Cape Colony have been drawn closer by the construction of a railway through the state by the Cape government, and by the conclusion of a customs union with the Cape. Nevertheless, the sentiment of kinship with the Boers in other parts of Africa remains strong. In 1881 many of the Orange Free State men were arming to help their Transvaal brethren, and since then projects of political union between the two republics have been more than once mooted. It is in the Transvaal that the Dutch African stock has remained least intermingled with any foreign strain, preserving in their crudest form all the peculiarities of its very peculiar character. The Boers live dispersed on their huge farms over this huge territory. There are only some sixty or seventy thousand of them in an area as big as Great Britain, seeing few strangers, and hearing little of what goes on in the rest of the world. Many are illiterate, and the rest read nothing but the Bible. These conditions, coupled with natural force of character, might seem to be favorable conditions for the production of a simple and imaginative literature. But the Boers have never produced any literature
whatever, and the limited resources of their taal would, indeed, hardly permit them to do so. They are very prejudiced, and the strongest of their prejudices, next to that against Roman Catholics, or persons theologically suspect, is against the English, whom they call «red-necks,» except when they use a more opprobrious term. So dearly do they love their roaming pastoral and hunting life that the discovery of gold-fields in their territory caused them little pleasure. They were content to sell the land to the speculators who flocked in, and never attempted to work the mines themselves, or even to take shares in the mining companies. There are among them so few persons fitted by education or taste for any kind of administrative work that when the need was felt for such persons to fill the largely increased number of official posts, President Krueger, being unwilling to take them from the Dutchspeaking people of a British colony, resolved to import his officials from Holland. These newly arrived Hollanders, whose number has become considerable,—I have heard it estimated at fifteen hundred, are now an important factor. They are disliked and suspected by the old Boers, partly as strangers, partly, one is told, because their orthodoxy is doubted; but they exercise much influence on the policy of the Boer government, and they are, not from prejudice, but from selfinterest, fully as anti-English in sentiment as the most old-fashioned Boer can be.
Besides the old Boers and the new Hollanders, there has grown up in the Transvaal during the last ten years a large population of strangers, the so-called Uitlanders, who have come in for the sake of working the mines or of supplying goods to those who work them. Probably one half of the strangers come from Cape Colony and Natal, some being of British, a smaller number of Dutch origin. Of the rest the large majority are British, but there are also many Australians, several thousand Germans, some Italians, and a few French and Scandinavians, as well as Russian Jews. There are also Americans, important not so much from their numbers as from their position; for most of the mining engineers, with a good many of the foremen and skilled workmen, have brought their special knowledge and experience hither from California or other parts of the Western States. It is impossible to estimate either the total strength of this host of newcomers or the respective numbers of its component national elements, for the influx has been rapid, and the component elements vary
from month to month. You might as well try to measure the volume of a South African river, which rises and sinks according to the rain-storms that in the wet season burst along the courses of its various affluents. Last November the Cape railway was bringing into the Witwatersrand gold-fields a thousand European immigrants every week. This mixed multitude, however, falls into two broad divisions, those who speak English, coming from Britain, from Cape Colony, from Australia, and from the United States, and those who speak some other European language. The former are, of course, far more numerous-probably four fifths of the total, which at the end of last year must have reached or exceeded one hundred thousand, being therefore much larger than the whole number of native Boers.
The singular contrast of two populations which the Transvaal presents is probably without precedent. On the one hand, a multitude of strangers, brought together from every corner of the earth by the desire of gain, and crowded into a small space, from which they have squeezed out the former inhabitants; on the other hand, a simple, pastoral people, untouched by modern commercial civilization and modern ideas, scattered over a vast area, where they seek to live in the primitive fashion of their forefathers, but unable to avoid the impact of these strangers, and driven to think how they can best avoid being absorbed or overmastered by them. In the struggle which circumstances have made inevitable, the chances might seem to lie in favor of the newcomers, who have wealth, numbers, and intelligence on their side. The Boers, however, are made of tough and well-tempered metal. As in Montenegro, every man between sixteen and sixty is a soldier-a soldier who, like the Montenegrin, makes up for the want of discipline by his hardy frame, his courage, and his religious devotion to the cause of his people. They have also the advantage of a seasoned and skilful chief. President Krueger, who came from Cape Colony as a boy of ten in the great trek of 1836, has, since he reached manhood, been conspicuous in the military adventures and civil troubles of the country. To the natural shrewdness and tenacity of his character, these years of active and changeful life have added a great experience of men and a perfect coolness in emergencies. He is keen, vigilant, astute, and, above all, resolute, and he represents so faithfully the dominant feelings and the inbred habits of the Boer people that he has been able to
acquire a surprising influence over them, and to exert over the Assembly a practical authority far in excess of the very limited powers which the constitution of the republic permits to the President.
The struggle between the Boers and the strangers, which has practically become a struggle between the English and the Dutch elements, now centers in the demand of the strangers to be admitted to the electoral franchise. Formerly electoral rights were readily acquirable by an immigrant in the Transvaal, as they are to-day in the Orange Free State. In 1881 a residence of two years gave the vote. But when President Krueger perceived that the influx of strangers would alter the character of the electorate, and ultimately transfer the balance of power to English-speaking citizens, he persuaded the Assembly to extend the period of residence required for citizenship, first to five, and then to fifteen years, and thus practically to exclude the whole of the new population which has come in since 1885. Thus electoral rights are now confined to less than twenty-five thousand citizens, while probably double that number of persons, of voting age and sex, are living within the republic debarred from those rights. It is easy to understand Mr. Krueger's position. «These newcomers,» he argues, «are in all essentials strangers to our polity. They do not belong to our Dutch Reformed churches; they do not like our customs; they do not speak our tongue. They would use their votes, if votes were given them, to turn out the present officials and legislators, and would end by making the country English, like Cape Colony or Natal. It was not for such a fate that we quitted the homes of our fathers to go out into the wilderness and overcome the Zulus sixty years ago; and against such a fate we will struggle to the end.» On the other hand, the strangers complain that, though they form a large majority of the population, own half the land in the republic, and pay more than ninety per cent. of the taxes, they are denied a share in the government of the country and in the application of its revenues, and are obliged to submit to excessive and unfair imposts, voted by a legislature some of whose members are gravely suspected of corruption, and administered by officials many of whom are far from trustworthy. These were the motives which prompted the creation three years ago of an organization to obtain political reforms, and which led to the rising of the stranger population, or rather of a part of the English-speaking portion of it,
at Johannesburg in December last—a rising the declared aim of which was not the overthrow of the Transvaal Republic, but to compel the Boer Assembly to extend the suffrage to the newcomers.
Of that abortive rising, and of the expedition of the British South Africa Company's men, which came to help it, but was surrounded and forced to surrender to the Boer troops, this is not the place to speak, for those events have led to judicial proceedings now pending in England. The result has so far been unfavorable to the demands of the strangers. President Krueger's hold on his citizens had been previously shaken by their dislike to the officials he had brought from Holland. The invasion, however, evoked all the patriotism of the Boers, and made the President, who successfully withstood it, more popular than ever. At the same time it stirred the feelings of the Dutch in the Orange Free State and even in Cape Colony. Seeing their own kinsfolk threatened by an expedition which had started from British soil, they forgot for the moment their own commercial grievances against the Transvaal government (which had built up a wall of tariffs against them), and gave all their sympathy to the threatened republic. As the British home government had not only disavowed, but had even tried to stop, the expedition on its way, no resentment has been felt by the Cape Dutch against Britain. But the movement toward a political fusion of Dutch and English in the Colony has received a check, and the tendency of the Orange Free State toward a closer union with its sister republic has been strengthened. Meanwhile, the grievances of the new population in the Transvaal have not been removed, and as the influx of strangers to the Witwatersrand mines will doubtless continue, it is clear that something must be done to give more or less complete satisfaction to their claims, and to prevent a recurrence of the troubles of last December and January. It is impossible, in our times, for a minority to continue to rule over a large and increasing unenfranchised majority of people superior in intelligence and wealth, however strong the original position of the minority may have been, and whatever sympathy their attachment to their own simple and primitive life may evoke.
I have dwelt somewhat fully on the relations of the Boers to the English-speaking strangers in the Transvaal, because the questions now at issue there involve the wider issue between the English and Dutch races in South Africa. The Witwatersrand mining
district is at this moment the political center of the southern half of the continent; for it is by far the wealthiest district, and it is the spot where population is becoming dense, and in which finance has established its seat. For the next fifty years at least it will apparently be the focus of industry and commerce for the surrounding counties from Cape Town to the Zambesi. It is the magnitude of the prize that makes the present contest exciting, and draws the eyes of Europe to these few square miles of barren upland, of which no one had heard fifteen years ago. Whatever be the political outcome of the contest, whether the strangers obtain votes or not, and whether or not the present form of government is maintained, there cannot be much doubt as to the ultimate result. Man for man, the Boers are not inferior to the English settlers either physically or in force of character. Probably they are not less capable of developing, with proper education and under stimulative conditions, a vigorous intellectual life. There is no better stock in the world than that Low German stock to which they belong. But not only are they less numerous and less wealthy than the English-speaking strangers (many of the cleverest of whom are not English at all, but of Semitic origin), but they are unsuited by their ideas and habits for the task of developing the material resources of their country, and dealing with the financial and commercial problems which its rapid growth has brought to the front. Without in the least comparing them to the Mormons, who were far inferior to them in many respects, their civilization resembles that of the Mormons in being one which could maintain itself only in isolation. Now that the strenuous industrial current of the modern world has reached it and begun to wash against it, its foundations cannot long resist the sapping influences. The Transvaal, therefore, and all South Africa with the Transvaal, seems destined in the future to belong to the English type of civilization, and to speak the English tongue. But the Dutch tongue also will hold its ground for many years to come, and Boer traits will no doubt powerfully affect the South African character as it acquires, after a generation or two, a settled and distinctive quality. The wish and hope of every one who knows the country must be that the fusion, which will (almost certainly) come at last, may come peaceably, and come not by a victory of the one element which could leave resentment in the breasts of the other, but by a process of gradual assimilation similar to that which turned Englishmen and Scotchmen from ene
The reader may expect, before this article comes to an end, some brief expression of opinion as to the more distant future of South Africa, and particularly as to whether its inhabitants will become a great civilized nation, one of the dominant powers of the southern hemisphere-a nation such as the Australians are becoming in the East, and as the Argentine Republic might become in South America, were it in the hands of an orderly and progressive race.
mies into friends, and is welding Flemings and land is still imperfectly ascertained, but that Walloons into one Belgian people. of the Witwatersrand gold-field admits of no doubt, and even if, as some experts hold, that gold-field will be worked out within a century from now, it seems certain that for fifty years at least it will continue to provide occupation for a large mass of people, skilled as well as unskilled workers. In that region, therefore, a considerable growth of population may be looked for, and it will be accompanied by a less rapid rise in the number of those who pursue agriculture, or otherwise supply the wants of a mining class. Probably, therefore, a steady growth, as well of population as of wealth, can be counted on for a century to come, which is as far forward as any one can venture to look. But the growth may not be very swift, and the white population, which is now much less than one million, probably about 750,000, in all South Africa, may, twenty-five or thirty years hence, scarcely exceed two millions. For it must be remembered that the laboring population is colored and will remain colored. Speaking broadly, the country will be a black man's, and not a white man's, country, and this is why the question of the future social and industrial relations of blacks and whites becomes of such paramount importance. There is no reason to apprehend in South Africa, any more than in the Southern States of America, a predominance of the inferior race; but the future peace and prosperity of the country will largely depend upon the wisdom and temper with which the higher race treats the backward one, and leads it onward and upward. James Bryce.
That South Africa will ultimately be united into one political body, probably in a federative form, seems highly probable. Federative union would not only increase its political strength, but would also accelerate its material development. Its growth in wealth and population will, however, depend chiefly on its natural resources. Agricultural progress can hardly be rapid while other countries produce, without artificial aid, foodstuffs which in this dry climate must, over wide areas, be grown by means of irrigation. The capabilities of South Africa for stockraising are unquestionable; but stock-raising, even on a vast scale, does not imply any great increase of population, or any great advance in the arts and refinements of life. It is therefore chiefly in respect of its mineral treasures that wealth will grow, and the country fill up rapidly with immigrants; for the afflux of settlers to the mines creates markets and stimulates every branch of trade. The value of the mines of Matabeleland and Mashona
«I JOURNEYED SOUTH TO MEET THE SPRING.»
JOURNEYED South to meet the Spring,
To feel the soft tide's gentle rise
The old, the new, the sweet surprise.
For once, the wonder was not new-
For all its innocence of hue,
Its warmth and bloom and dream and dew,